UK Consumer Trends for 2016

With consumer trends in retail data from 2015 now being digested by analysts and retail spending peaked, are we about to see the increase in our disposable incomes finally result in a financial windfall for UK retailers?

Latest report data from the ONS suggests that back in 2013 average weekly spending started growing again (increasing to £523.90) and continued growing in 2014 when it reached £531.30. With the figures from 2015 still due, will we see a continued upward trajectory in 2016? And how will this affect our fiercely competitive UK consumer markets?

Consumer Expenditure Trends

Consumer Expenditure Trends

Source: Trends in household expenditure over time (ONS)

Will 2016 herald further increases in choice for the UK consumer?

It’s no secret that a slew of data will most likely still point to the rise of the discounters and value hungry shoppers driving footfall away from previously dominant market leaders. Technology will continue to disrupt traditional channels as companies like UBER and AirBNB start to impact service based industry models.

Standard of service will be a key differentiator.

The quality of product and service delivery is becoming the modern battleground in the race for companies to either expand or survive and growing consumer choice is a sign of healthy market competition. The upshot for business is that the relentless pursuit for value and excellence from consumers will continue to define how our high street retailers perform, shaping the UK retail landscape in the years to come.

The time to invest in understanding service performance and training is now.

If the forecasts are correct then this is a great time for well managed retail stores  to capitalise on low oil prices, benign interest rates and the real terms increases in consumer spending power as inflation remains subdued.

 

How will retailers capitalise on any increase in UK consumer confidence in 2016?

It’s important to note that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Operations Teams to manage multiple delivery routes as shoppers’ drift between physical bricks and mortar,  the online world, and call centre sales routes. Managing a joined up approach on service at scale is not an easy task but one that retailers need to tackle with relish. As you start your journey into 2016, make sure you lay a great foundation for the rest of the year and beyond.

Provide your business support with a clear measurement framework.

To ensure that you have an accurate measurement for service performance across  all channels we suggest that companies invest in the tools which enable them to have a clear customer insight beyond the standard customer feedback survey. We support companies by developing mystery shopping programmes which measure key moments in the customer journey not typically picked up by consumer surveys and canvassing.

Gathering evidence rich data is the key for driving positive change

Consumer purchase funnel Data

Consumer Purchase Funnel Data from Mystery Shopping – Tern Ltd

For online data analysts it has become common practice to measure the customer journey funnel and work out where you are most likely to lose your customers. Mystery Shopping is the perfect tool for creating a funnel framework for working out your service failure points. Looking at those key moments can tell you where you need to make service level improvements are made. Mystery shopping data is far richer and can be combined with customer feedback surveys or stand alone in it’s own right.

To help you with this we have compiled our own list of supporting topics.

Contact us on 01939 235555 to see how we can help you lay the foundations for achieving great customer service.

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